Last year, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson drew attention for his offseason work with teammates Willie Snead IV and Chris Moore.
On Wednesday, his company was a little more famous, and it's sure to raise a few eyebrows across the pro football world.
In an afternoon session in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — county seat of his native Broward County — the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player worked out alongside Ravens wide receiver and close friend Marquise “Hollywood” Brown; Alabama wide receiver and future first-round pick Jerry Jeudy, another Broward County native; and, most notably, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, a cousin of the Ravens’ Brown.
Responding to a tweet Wednesday showing Antonio Brown catching passes from Jackson, the Ravens star tagged the six-time All-Pro wide receiver and indicated that they would do it again.
Brown, 31, a free agent, missed most of last season after two ugly departures. The Oakland Raiders, who voided the guaranteed money in his contract after Brown missed nearly all of training camp, cut him in early September when he demanded to be released.
After quickly signing with the New England Patriots, Brown was named in a lawsuit by his former trainer, who alleged that he had sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions. Less than a week later, another woman accused him of sexual misconduct.
The Patriots cut Brown after just one game, and the NFL began an investigation into the allegations against him.
“In Antonio’s situation, I think the first thing is, for all of us, to think about the well-being of Antonio,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters in late January when asked about the status of the league’s investigation. “We don’t talk about the wellness of our players publicly, but I would tell you that you can be sure that the NFL and the NFL [Players Association] have a tremendous amount of resources that are available to all players. They are going to be made available to Antonio.
“We want to help get him on the right track, and get him in a position where he is in a zone where he thinks he can be successful in life. And we are confident that can happen.”
The Ravens have re-signed wide receivers De’Anthony Thomas and Moore this offseason, but both are considered primarily special teams contributors. General manager Eric DeCosta, who’s expected to answer questions during a predraft conference call Tuesday, has focused on upgrading the team’s defense over the first two weeks of free agency.
Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews (852 receiving yards), Marquise Brown (584) and Snead (339) are the Ravens’ top returning receivers. But with nine picks in this month’s draft, including the No. 28 overall selection and three of the top 60, the Ravens are well positioned to take advantage of what could be a historically deep class of wide receivers.
Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, Brown and Jackson have been active this week. On Tuesday, Brown appeared in social media posts alongside former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson and Antonio Brown at his cousin’s Florida gym. On Wednesday, both Brown cousins and Jackson worked out on a football field in what Jeudy told “The Rich Eisen Show” was Fort Lauderdale.
It could be their last public workout for a while. On Wednesday afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. The order will go into effect at midnight Thursday and last for at least 30 days.